Web Content Management System Project

Creating a content management-powered website is often a time-consuming process, especially if the project is sophisticated and important to your business. So you want to make sure that you’re using the right system for your particular requirements.

The following checklist covers the kinds of things you should be researching or asking each vendor. Obviously, if any of these requirement items aren’t relevant to you, just remove them from the list. If you’re researching free/open-source systems, you may have to complete the checklist yourself, but if you send it to commercial vendors, you may well find that they’re willing to complete it on your behalf.

What is the price?
What’s the licensing model? (One-off, Annual, Per-User, etc)
What’s the code license? (Open Source, Proprietary)
Is a maintenance/support contract available, and at what price?
Are formal training courses available, and at what price?
Is online help (e.g. forums) available?


Operating Environment
What operating system does the CMS support?
What database does it require?
What web server does it use?
What programming language does it use?
What web browsers does the administration interface support?


Content Management
Are permissions roles-based, and what can be locked-down?
Does the CMS offer a workflow system?
Can content be versioned, and an audit history accessed?
Can the interface be displayed in multiple languages?
Is the interface accessible?
Does the interface support themes/skins?
Does it support multiple websites from a single interface/installation?
Does it support friendly, SEO-friendly URLs?
Are a thesaurus and dictionary included?
Can it import Microsoft Office files?

Does it support XHTML and CSS?
Can it support AJAX?
Does it support Unicode/UTF-8?
Does it support feeds, such as RSS and ATOM?
What templating language does it use, e.g. PHP or XSLT?
Can developers access an API (REST or SOAP)?
Can content be uploaded via FTP or WebDav?


What caching does the CMS offer?
Does it support static export of content?
Is load-balancing supported?
Does it support database clustering?


Does it support LDAP or Active Directory for authentication?
Can login occur over SSL?
Can it restrict admin users by IP address?
Is all sensitive information encrypted in the database?
Does it integrate with any backup solutions?


Website Building Features
Does it support the following types of content:
Multimedia (audio and video)
Polls and Surveys
Quizzes and Tests
Which social media features are offered?
User Profiles
Twitter integration
What eCommerce features are offered?
Is a Search Engine included, and if so, which features are supported?
Can comments and registrations support Captcha support to prevent spam?
Is a personalisation engine supported